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Clear Closet Clutter and Chaos

I’m getting ready to go help a friend organize her closet. This is something, as I’ve mentioned before, that I have done in the past for people. Our closets seem to get away from us and can get overwhelming in a hurry, if we do not keep up on keeping the clutter and chaos to a minimum.

Start With Preparing Mentally

cartoon-thinkingTo clear the clutter and chaos from your closet, you need to mentally prepare to purge. Since our closets are generally behind closed doors; people tend to toss, throw and stuff items into the abyss! Out of sight, out of mind.
Years ago, when I was cleaning houses, I had a client whose home was tidy as a pin. I kinda wondered why I was ever there! I remember her husband telling me that she was a “stuffer.” He said if I ever looked in a closet, I would know! She liked things to always looked straightened and nice, but she didn’t really care so much about the organization of everything.

That would make me crazy. Just knowing the chaos that was behind those closed doors…would make me mentally lose it! I love the look and idea of things being orderly and in their proper places (and labeled) even behind a closed closet or pantry door. I know. I’m weird.

Getting in the proper frame of mind to cleanse possessions and clothing; really helps the process move more quickly and efficiently. If you are struggling with getting rid of the items; it can get to be a long, drawn out process, that can be drudgery! Try to have the perspective in mind that clearing the closet clutter will truly help you to feel more calm and relaxed, each time you need to choose and outfit, put clothing away, and grab that scarf. Life will be better!

Garbage, Give Away, Gotta Keep

Go through EVERY item in your closet. As I’ve written before, separate your items into what you will clothing-donationjust toss (or make rags out of,) what you can give away or even possible sell, and what you just can’t live without! I encourage you to be realistic. There are items in that closet that just no longer fit. There are items that were gifts, and you’ll never wear. There are items that never fit the way you wanted them too…even though they are so stinkin’ cute! It’s time to pass ALL of those on for other people to enjoy!

Take all the clothing that you can’t live without, those you just gotta keep, and organize them according to similarities. You know; put likes with likes and things that go together. Put all of your sweaters together, pants, long sleeved button-ups, short sleeves, etc.

sweatersIf you have shelves in your closet, put the sweaters on them. They do best, not hanging; as it tends to pull them out of shape. I also fold my bluejeans on a shelf, and save the precious hanging space for shirts, dresses, skirts, and some pants.

Hang all dresses together; hopefully in a full length section of your closet. Get those multi-hanging skirt hangers for any skirts. They really add to the amount of skirts you can have, and take up much less space! I have skirts and dresses on one side of my closet, and long sleeved and short sleeved shirts on the other side. By “sides” I mean, my husband built me a shelving unit in the middle. That’s where I’m able to keep my sweaters and folded jeans. It works great!

Clear Chaos Of Odds And Ends

When the bedroom closet becomes a catch all for many things behind closed doors, it gets messy and very chaotic. When purging, really analyze what all needs to be in there. It’s a clothes closet, so it SHOULD be clothes. Perhaps you can keep your shoes on the floor, tucked under the clothes.

Miscellaneous items need to go! Try to find an appropriate place, elsewhere in your home, for thesecloset-shelves things. If everything has a permanent home, then you can always return it to its proper location! Things like: notebooks, journals, stationery, and cards; should all have a place in a different part of your house. Perhaps in a desk drawer, or file cabinet. Try not to stuff things in every nook and cranny! Possibly…you don’t need to save every single card and letter you’ve received. No, I haven’t looked in your closet!

Top Shelf Items!

The top shelf in your closet, usually above the hanging closet rod, is great storage. It’s too high for most every day type items. But it works wonderful for extra things.

shoe-boxIt’s perfect for extra linens even. One thing that this extra shelf is great for, is seasonal change out clothing. If you live in a climate that has four distinct seasons; you’re probably dealing with a lot of various weights of clothing. This can take up huge space in a closet! Being able to tuck away summer or winter clothing during the off-season, can make all the difference in your ability to keep the closet manageable. If this doesn’t work for you; consider packing the off-season items in a clear container and store in the garage, shed, or basement. Rotating seasonal clothing is a must!

Placing shoe boxes, with out-of-season shoes on the top shelf is also a fantastic option! Be sure to clearly mark both ends of the shoe box. One end with the summer shoe choice, and the other end with the winter shoe choice! Then simply rotate it, with the correct label facing out.

Be Consistent!

Once you have the things you no longer (or ever did) use, out of the closet; you will have enough space to organize what you really need to keep. Try to put everything back in the same place you got it, after it’s been washed. Having everything in a consistent spot, will eliminate hunting for favorite articles of clothing in the early morning hours, when you’re running late!

I hope you’ll dive into that closet and get it cleared of any extra clutter and chaos that may have built up. Your life will be easier and more efficient when you aren’t spending time going through junk to get to what you really need. Please leave a comment below and let me know how it goes. I love hearing stories of how you are getting organized. It really saves time when you take the time to get things in order, and be consistent about keeping them that way!

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Shelli Thomas

8 Comments

  1. This is great information Shelli. I believe I may be a stuffer. I never heard that word until this post, but it is accurate for me. My house is neat but the cabinets and closets are another story. I think one of my main problems may be the odds and ends. It’s so tough to part with something that is still functional; things I think I will recycle again after a few years. Decluttering is something I know I have to do more of. I must say you have inspired me to keep trying to get a handle on this hidden clutter. As you said, consistency is the key.

    • Hi Claudette! Often those closed doors can be our enemy. You will feel much better if you clear out some things, so you have room to keep those closets neat and orderly! I highly encourage you to donate or throw out all the things you’re saving for “someday.” Maybe someone else can put it to good use right now! Just think of it as helping others out, instead of just hoping you’ll repurpose it someday. I’m thrilled you’re inspired here. Keep reading through other articles on this site, and keep organizing!

  2. Love your site! I’m guilty of piling stuff up in the closets and cupboards. I try to purge once a year. It feels so good when I’m done. I can’t stand clutter which is why I tend to hide everything in the closet. Time to purge again!

    • Yes! It’s time to clear the clutter. It truly is very cleansing, and relieves alot of undue stress. If you keep the clutter down, it’s so much easier to just keep up on it all as you go, because you can see everything and get to what you need!

  3. Hi Shelli
    My closet is definitely something I really need to sort! It has things on the top shelf that I don’t think have seen the light of day since we moved in in 2001! Add to that the clothes, in size order, from me at my smallest, up to my current size. I keep promising myself I will get back into them one day but the clutter from them…… Must put this on my to-do-list!

    • Hi Megan! I really hope this inspires you to tackle that closet. It can really relieve stress and free the mind, when our personal space is not overly stimulating and a cause of frustration! Please let me know how it goes!

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